Embracing Closed Doors Throughout Your Creative Journey

Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always had a habit of downplaying my achievements or trying to over-analyze why I got an A- instead of an A. This habit later followed and haunted me in high school, then college, and post-grad, and up until now in my 30s.

Call it Virgo syndrome, or just a lack of believing in myself and my abilities no matter how many times I made the honor roll at school or received a journalism nomination during my decade-long journalism career.

Self-confidence hasn’t exactly been my strong suit, and I’ve been working on it.

Sometimes you can be your own mental block that can prevent you from getting the job of your dreams or fulfilling your destiny.

I’ve slowly realized that perfection became harder to attain as the years went by. It took me my 30s to realize that perfection does not exist and that I’m chasing a ghost that does not exist. Simply staying comfortable or not challenging yourself to apply for a job even if you don’t have the credentials or skillset can be a disservice to yourself. There comes a point where we have to tell ourselves, “why not me?”

It took me a long time to understand the power behind believing in yourself and putting out good energy to receive blessings from the universe. This doesn’t always necessarily mean career blessings — but it could also take the form of good health news, a financial break, or another breakthrough in one’s life.

When I applied to a corporate marketing communications position a few months ago, I felt a bit nervous because it had been quite some time since I worked in a full-time office setting. My contract with a highly prestigious award-winning TV show had ended years ago, and that was my last steady paycheck. I’ve since had to dabble in freelance gigs to help stay afloat and pay the bills.

I went into the interview seemingly prepared with my notepad, pen, folder, resume, cover letter, and extensive portfolio of published news articles and copywriting samples.

As the HR manager greeted me, he took a few minutes to quickly glance over my most recent substitute teaching work on my resume and said, “Oh, so you just watch kids, right?”

“Oh, so you just watch kids” — that response left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Instead of me trying to downplay my own strengths, here was someone else who tried to downplay and reduce my work to a mere six words.

But instead of letting his words discourage me, I took the Metro back to the San Gabriel Valley and tried to remind myself this wasn’t the type of work environment I’d be interested in subjecting myself to, anyway.

About a day later, I received a rejection email from the company:

“I appreciate your interest in the Marketing Communications Specialist position and the time you’ve invested in interviewing with ____.

We have decided to move forward with another candidate, but we’d like to thank you for talking to us and giving us the opportunity to learn more about your experience.

I will keep your contact information on file and may contact you if any similar positions are made available in the future. Again, thank you for your interest and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.”

Yes, that job rejection stung like a bee, but it also reignited a light inside of me. It was my inner voice that kept saying, “this is not the right job for you — keep trying.”

It’s true — I felt out of place the moment I walked in. The job itself, to be quite frank, sounded boring. But despite these red flags, I disregarded them. It took me a job rejection and some pep talk from a friend to realize this job was not a match.

I have come to realize that over the years through every job rejection or detour, my intuition has become a very important tool that I must not ignore.

After that rejection, I was still a bit unclear about my next career move. I felt like I had hit a dead end. So I met up with a friend over tacos and burritos, as any true Angeleno would do.

I vented my frustrations and she listened. After all, she’s a reiki healer and super intuitive. She told me that I should look within myself for the answers and to also let the universe know that I’m ready.

I never thought of it that way. I never thought to affirm that I’m ready for the job of my dreams — that I’m ready and deserving of a dream job.

I wasn’t landing the right jobs or hearing back from recruiters because my energy had been depleted. I stopped trying to customize or spruce up my resume because I had the failure mindset already embedded in the job search. I was stuck constantly churning out my resume, hoping someone would read through or at least give me a shot at an in-person interview.

When I did a bit of retrospective self-reflection, I wasn’t applying with the same vitality or passion I had when I initially started the job search. I was also looking for positions that didn’t align with my long-term goals or seem to be as fulfilling as what I really wanted to do which was to write creative copy.

“What do you really want to do, Monica?” my friend Shikha asked.

“I really want to work as a copywriter and tell inspiring, engaging, and fun stories that make a difference.”

Shikha told me to take the time to really manifest and prove to the universe that I was ready to be a copywriter.

“That’s your answer. Now pray on it. Manifest. And believe that the universe will guide you because you’re ready for it,” she said.

I didn’t believe her at first. But every day, I started visualizing myself as having these tools and already getting clients and writing copy for an organization or company.

I had to work on myself and unlearn everything. I had to give myself some space to heal. I visualized myself as a copywriter, even if I didn’t get the official title just yet.

After reading more self-help books and practicing what Shikha told me to do, I eventually stumbled across “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne which further emphasized the law of attraction and the idea that any circumstance or situation you’re in can be altered if you believe in yourself and the magic you possess.

An opportunity soon knocked on my door before I knew it. I stumbled across a job posting for a paid copywriting internship. I was a bit hesitant because I had been out of college for nearly 8 years now and I didn’t need to add another “internship” to my resume because I had plenty of experience. But something nudged at me to start over from scratch and try something new. I had some copy experience, but absolutely no ad agency experience. I tried to snap out of this “lack of experience negative self-talk,” and I pushed myself to apply.

Call it the universe, or my intuition, but both had pushed me to try this offering out. Long story short, the ad agency liked the work I was churning out and soon gave me the opportunity to move up as a creative copywriter and receive steady assignments.

It’s been five months and I am finally working a dream job on my own schedule. I finally have what I had long manifested all along: A job as a creative copywriter.

Yes, it’s a side gig — but it’s a dream job because it doesn’t feel like work to me. For me, it feels like I’m painting words on a blank canvas and making a difference through copy that informs, engages, and entertains.

I told myself from the very beginning, that “I am a copywriter.” I affirmed that I am. And it magically happened.

It still feels a bit like an out of the body experience to say that I’m a copywriter because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long after I left the world of journalism.

It took me a long time to get out of my mental block period and instead, flow in abundance, like a river of words leading me to my next story.

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Freelance writer, copywriter, and journalist. Working on a memoir.

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Monica Luhar

Monica Luhar

Freelance writer, copywriter, and journalist. Working on a memoir.

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